A consortium including Urban Foresight has won €3.9 million for a European project focused ennhancing the capacity of authorities to reduce CO2 from personal transport in remote, rural and island areas.

Green Passenger Transport in Rural Areas (G-PaTRA) will focus on integrated transport services and new organisational ownership models for sustainable rural public transport in the North Sea Region of Europe. The project aims to do this by embedding increasing numbers of zero-emission vehicles in rural transport systems and by improving, optimising and better integrating available passenger transport services.

“Rural areas present unique territorial challenges and have received relatively limited attention in terms of funding” said Andrew Willis, Head of Projects at Urban Foresight. “Public transport in these settings is noted for being particularly high carbon and subsidy intensive, and car-alternative forms of transport are often limited. In addition, carbon reduction strategies focused on urban transport are rarely transferable to rural areas.”

The G-PaTRA consortium is led by Robert Gordon University and comprises partners from UK, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. The project will run from 2017 through 2020 and will demonstrate the technical innovations and the institutional, operational and social changes needed. It will also aim to transfer these new techniques to countries across Europe.

Urban Foresight will lead on the Innovation Capture and Transfer work package, designed to assess innovation across the whole project, ensuring objectives are met and knowledge is effectively exchanged across partners and disseminated across the stakeholder network. This includes the development and delivery of an expert workshop to capture current state of the art in rural green passenger transport.

A total of 15 projects across four priority areas have received €31.4m and have a total budget of €62.8m. They are being delivered through the North Sea Programme 2014-2020, part of the wider Interreg initiative which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Further information on all of the projects including G-PaTRA can be found here.